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Okotokians happy, well fed in the Heartland

Best of the Foothills: Former church now café selected in three categories
Heartland Café won three Best of Foothills Gold awards. (Remy Greer/Western Wheel)

Romance can be found in the Heartland.

Heartland Café, located in Olde Towne Okotoks on McRae Street, was a triple gold medallist in the 2019 Best of the Foothills Western Wheel Readers’ Choice Awards, taking top spot for Best Romantic Dinner, Best Restaurant in Okotoks and Best Place for Lunch.

Eating at Heartland is more than a meal, said chef/owner Laszlo Radi. The café tries to make it an experience.

The background music has a kind of jazzy feel at supper and it’s in the background – a conversation can still take place while enjoying an appetizer, a nice steak and a glass of wine.

Perfect for making your date’s eyes sparkle nearly as much as the wine or champagne.

“I think it’s very unique and it is nicely decorated,” said Radi of the cafe. “And I think the customers know they are most important here… We think dinner should be an entertainment. Have a nice conversation, a glass of wine and settle in.”

Radi bought Heartland Café – a former church – about a year ago.

“We liked the location and it is so unique,” he said.

The new owner took a slightly different approach, opting to go for a more elegant setting, but with a laid-back approach.

“We changed to more fine-dining style in the evening,” said Radi, who calls Okotoks home. “We have the tablecloths, the flowers and we are also keeping it affordable.”

He has kept having Foothills area artists’ work decorating the walls as well there are antiques throughout the café.

“We like to support the artists around here,” Radi said.    

As for what is his favourite, dish, well the cook has a completely open mind.

“All of them,” said Radi, who has a Hungarian background, with a laugh. “What we do is international. A Hungarian kitchen is very wide, all kinds of proteins all kind of vegetables, all kind of spices.

“We are not limited to a few items.”

The dinner menu includes filet mignon, charbroiled strip loin steak, duck breast with Thai rice, a tagliatelle con gamberetti (prawns, chopped parsley, white wine, garlic clove, olive oil and hot chili pepper) and other items.

A wide variety of appetizers are also on the menu.

Heartland was also selected best place for lunch by Foothills readers.

It has a lunch menu and for those wanting to enjoy a nice summer or fall afternoon a patio for outside dining. The patio has a European feel as it looks out on the streets of Okotoks and is near the downtown square.

Heartland Café took the Bronze for Best Patio in the Foothills Readers’ survey, behind The George Traditional House and Browns Socialhouse.

Its lunch menu has lighter food, but built for taste.

Lunch items include the roasted beet salad and other salads, burgers, steak sandwich and others.

Heartland is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

On Sundays there is a brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information go to, email or phone 403-995-4623.


Bruce Campbell

About the Author: Bruce Campbell

Bruce Campbell is the editor for and the Western Wheel newspaper. He is a graduate of Mount Royal College journalism program, 1991. For story tips contact
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